Both Nadia Sawalha and Kaye Adams are working mothers, regular panellists on TV’s Loose Women and YouTube vloggers. Their hilarious videos showing keen chef Nadia trying to teach kitchen-phobic Kaye how to cook have resulted in their new book, Disaster Chef, which was launched last week. Here they share two perfect recipes for Mother’s Day that even a culinary novice can make
Marshmallowy Fluffy Pavlova
NADIA: Right, trust me. You can make a perfect pav with a light, crisp shell and a soft,
marshmallowy middle. Follow this recipe word for word, take heed of my warnings, and you’ll taste true culinary success. If I look the worse for wear in these photos, it’s because I was!
For the meringue:
2 tsp raspberry vinegar or white wine vinegar, plus extra for cleaning the bowl
Lemon juice, for cleaning the bowl (optional)
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
225g (8oz) caster sugar
2 level tsp cornflour
For the cream:
350ml (12 fl oz) double cream, chilled
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional; don’t worry
if you haven’t got any)
2 tbsp icing sugar, sifted (optional), plus
extra for dusting
For the topping:
Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries
1 On a large piece of baking parchment,
draw around a 23cm (9in) dinner plate
with a pencil. Turn the parchment over so it’s
pencil-side down and place on a baking tray.
Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F/Gas 2).
2 Clean a large glass or metal bowl with a little
bit of vinegar or lemon juice. Nadia says:
“Odd as it sounds, acid will clean away any trace
of fat in your bowl: Fat is the enemy of stable
egg whites, if it’s there, they won’t whip up!”
3 Separate the eggs, ensuring the whites are
completely free of yolk. Pour the egg whites
into the super-clean bowl. Nadia says: “Just like
fat, any trace of yolk will stop your whites from
whipping up properly.”
4 Using an electric whisk, beat the egg whites
on a slow speed, then gradually increase the
speed to medium until they reach the soft peak
stage. Kaye says: “What does ‘soft peaks’ mean
exactly?” Nadia says: “It means that if you hold
your whisk upside-down, the peaks of the
mixture will just hold their shape before
5 Increase the speed of the whisk to its
highest, then, whisking continuously, addthe sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue
is shiny and the sugar thoroughly mixed in. If you
were to hold the whisk upside-down now, the
meringue would stand up in proud (stiff) peaks.
6 In a cup, whisk together the vinegar and
cornflour until smooth. Whisk this mixture
into the meringue. Kaye says: “I had to
concentrate so hard the first time I made this. I
considered crushing two paracetamol into it. I
didn’t. It was worth it.”
7 Spread the meringue to fill the baking
parchment circle, building up the sides so that
they stand higher than the middle. Place in the
oven and bake for 1 hour. Once baked, turn off
the oven and leave the door ajar. Leave the
pavlova inside the oven until it has cooled
completely. This stops it from cracking.
8 Combine the chilled cream (Nadia says: “I’m
talking cream straight from the fridge here”)
with the vanilla extract and icing sugar (if using)
in a large bowl. Beat on a low setting using an
electric whisk, then gradually increase the speed
to medium and whisk just until the cream
increases in volume and begins to stiffen, but still
has soft peaks. Dollop the cream into the centre
of the cooled pavlova. Nadia says: “Stop now or
else you’ll end up with butter!”
9 Scatter the blueberries, raspberries, and
strawberries over the cream and dust with
icing sugar. Ta-Dah!
Tip – Another way of testing the stiffness of your meringue mix – dollop some on your nose
Lemon Gin & Tonic Cake
KAYE: A tipsy twist on the classic lemon drizzle. What can I say, except: Any excuse! I actually watched Nadia make this last week, while sinking quite a bit more gin than she put in the cake. Make ours a large one
Makes about 8 good-sized slices, Kaye says: So that’s 4 each, Nadia
For the cake:
200g (7oz) softened unsalted
butter, plus extra for greasing
175g (6oz) caster sugar
4 medium eggs
200g (7oz) self-raising flour
½ tsp baking powder
Finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
75ml (2½fl oz) gin
For the syrup:
60g (2oz) caster sugar
60ml (2fl oz) tonic water
2 tbsp gin
For the icing and decoration:
50g (1¾oz) granulated sugar
juice of ½ lemon
1 tsp gin
1 lemon, very finely sliced with a
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C
2 Butter a 900g loaf tin and line the base and sides with baking parchment.
3 Put the butter and sugar into a bowl, and whisk with an electric whisk until pale, light, and fluffy. Kaye says: “How long do I have to stand here and do this?”Nadia says: “It should only take 5-6 minutes.”
4 Lightly beat the eggs in a jug. You just need them to all become the same uniform, yellow colour.
5 Pour them, bit by bit, into the butter and sugar mixture, whisking all the while.
6 Gently fold in the flour, baking powder, and lemon zest, so you don’t burst the air bubbles in the batter. Pour in the gin and give it a gentle stir. Spoon into the prepared tin.
7 Bake for 1 hour. After 55 minutes, insert a skewer into the centre of the cake and, if it comes out clean, take the cake out of the oven. If it doesn’t, give it another 5 minutes.
8 Meanwhile, make the syrup. Put the sugar and tonic water into a small pan and set over a low heat. Kaye says: “No sipping!”
9 Stir until the sugar dissolves. Kaye says: “How do I know when the sugar has dissolved?” Nadia says: “You’ll see it disappear, and also feel no more graininess under
10 Increase the heat under the pan and boil the syrup for 1 minute without stirring.
11 Measure out 2 tbsp of the syrup into a small bowl and mix in the gin (discard the
12 Once the cake is out of the oven, use a skewer to make 8 holes in it.
13 Drizzle the gin syrup over the top of the cake and leave to cool in the tin.
14 Turn out the cake, turn it right-side up again, and place on a wire rack.
15 Mix together the ingredients for the icing and spoon it on to the cake. Arrange the
lemon slices along the top. Leave to set.
16 Eat. And with a glass of G&T alongside – naturally!
Hack – To fold in flour, use a metal spoon or rubber spatula to cut down through the batter, then do a ‘lift and over’ motion. Give the bowl a quarter-turn and repeat